Instagram Confirms Testing Unskippable Ads, Says Always Trying to Drive ‘Value for Advertisers’: Report

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Instagram has reportedly confirmed testing unskippable ads on its platform after several users posted about seeing them recently. Earlier, a Reddit post highlighted these 5-second-long ads labelled as “ad breaks”, that users could not scroll past. Now, as per a report, a Meta spokesperson has said that the company is testing newer ways to drive value for advertisers. However, there is no confirmation that the test will lead to its wider implementation across the platform. Notably, ads have existed for a long time on the Meta-owned platform, but users have always been able to scroll past them.

According to a report by TechCrunch, Instagram has confirmed the testing of these ads. A company spokesperson told the publication, “We’re always testing formats that can drive value for advertisers.” However, it also added that the testing was being done just to assess its performance and user sentiment and in case it was to be rolled out to a wider user base officially, the company will provide updates.

After the Reddit post, several other users have also come across these ads. X (formerly known as Twitter) user @TheDanLevy also posted about these ads and shared more details about them. Calling it a “bonkers move”, the poster showed that these ads are labelled as ‘ad breaks’. As shown in the screenshot, there is an info icon next to the label which opens a bottom sheet with the title “You’re seeing an ad break”.

Underneath that, a text described this feature and stated, “Ad breaks are a new way of seeing ads on Instagram. Sometimes you may need to view an ad before you keep browsing.” For now, it appears these ad breaks are limited to a 5-second period, however, a couple of users have also claimed to have come across 10-second-long ads.

The reaction of netizens toward these unskippable ads was generally negative, with many claiming it to ruin their in-app experience. Some users have also resorted to closing the app when the ad shows and restarting the app immediately as a way to avoid seeing them. “I hope they know people will leave,” said a frustrated Reddit user.

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